It seems i've hit some sort of speed barrier. any tips?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Mprinsje, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Mprinsje

    Mprinsje st. anger ain't bad!

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    hi.

    so after 10+ years of playing guitar i've only now started to actually sit down and practice scales and solo's of bands i like. Over the years i have developed some speed but i seem to have hit some sort of barrier, let me give you an example.

    Some months ago i got really back into children of bodom, and as my favorite solo has always been the end solo to Follow the Reaper i decided it would be a nice challenge to myself to try and play it. So i downloaded the tab and went on to practice, starting slow, metronome and all. I've been on this for a good month now and i can't seem to go any faster than 160 bpm! this is starting to get pretty frustrating as the right tempo is somewhere around 197 (according to the GP file).

    Does anyone have any tips on how i can overcome this barrier? i am really trying to make my movements as minimal as possible and am really focussing on playing it the right way. Is this just a matter of just keeping at it or is there something i can do to help myself?
     
  2. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    I think you are doing the correct thing, metronome, reducing unnecessary movements, doing it slow first, just keep on trying, you'll eventually get it.
     
  3. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    1- is that an issue with both hands or just a picking issue ?
    2- what can you alt-pick faster / what slows you down ?
    3- video required
     
  4. Maniacal

    Maniacal SS.org Regular

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    Video would be helpful. Play some 3NPS patterns and some riffs etc
     
  5. Mprinsje

    Mprinsje st. anger ain't bad!

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    It's mainly an issue with my left hand, i'll see if i can post a video later today.
     
  6. zman5999

    zman5999 Member

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    There are three things that come to my mind:

    1. Take a break from trying to learn it (Not too long, just a day or two). Building speed is all about the muscles in your fingers, and just like a workout, you build the most muscle if you take a day of rest the day after a workout (I have tried this approach before with great success).

    2. Try playing it faster than you actually can. Push the speed on the metronome until it's just too fast for you to play. This will let your body know that it needs to improve, and eventually you will continue to build speed.

    3. Eliminate unnecessary movement. Make sure you barely lift your fingers from the string when you play. The few milliseconds it takes when one lifts their fingers higher make a massive difference in how fast they can play. In fact, try playing it much slower focusing on just this aspect of playing for a day or two. You'd be surprised how much of a difference it makes.

    I hope this helps, and I hope you nail that solo! :shred:
     
  7. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    Well at least if it's just the left hand, you probably did not hit a physical barrier and won't have to rethink your technique, rather, the barrier might be just some work that wasn't done yet and became necessary at 160bpm. That's the most frequent issue when the left hand is hitting a wall.

    So far I cannot say that's your issue, but FYI, your fingering speed relies on two different kinds of work :

    - the synchronization between non-antagonist muscles. For example, a consecutive flexion of multiple fingers. (-1234-) It's just a matter of timing here, progresses are quick.

    - the synchronization between antagonist muscles, it's the raw finger speed, your core speed, the hard work. For example, the repetitive flexion/extension of one finger. (-1111-)

    Basic shred tricks are generally built to avoid the hard work, to economize the need for higher gesture frequency. It's very rewarding in terms of note per second as much as limiting in terms of pattern diversity.

    Aspiring shredders tend to build a rewarding np/second technique with 3 np/string scales and such, using pull-off, sweep etc. At some point, they'll eventually hit a wall of gesture frequency (12312323) and get back to the brutal reality, the ring finger was too slow by itself to keep up. Then starts the hard work. One cannot gain many bpm per week anymore, gestures frequency is much slower to increase.. (it slows down around 4 cycles per sec)

    This is why repeating 1234 patterns is easier than 1324 or 1243. With the latter patterns, human anatomy must use at least one same muscle for two notes, 1324 actually works like 1424. It needs a pinkie that is two time faster to equal the 1234 speed. So here again, the wall is not psychological, like the brain could not follow the complexity of such pattern unless one has a "gift", it's just a wall of work, a wall of gesture frequency. Everyone is pretty much equal in terms of potential frequency. (aprox 9 cycles per sec)

    So here's my guess, you just hit a wall of gesture frequency. In that case, you'll just need to focus on the parts that require a higher frequency. Repetition is the key.
     
  8. Mprinsje

    Mprinsje st. anger ain't bad!

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys, means a lot!

    i'm trying to record myself, for some reason photobooth crashes when i want to film =(
     
  9. octatoan

    octatoan Acoustic tech-death!

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    How in the whatever do you know so much about these things? :lol: (Are you a professional? Like, a kinesthetics expert or something?)

    About 1324 . . . I constantly tap stuff out with my right hand, and as I think is common, 4321 was far, far easier than 1234 (why does this happen?) so I decided "let's try 1324 instead of 1234". Now my default patterns are:

    4: 1234
    6: 123423
    8: 12314234

    Anyway, does doing such things translate to benefits on the guitar at all? (I can do all of them with my LH too, just not as well.)
     
  10. FRETPICK

    FRETPICK Banned

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    Just burn the guitar, Hendrix had the right idea.
     
  11. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    - As I said I'm not a medic. I studied that stuff for 10 years just by practicing the guitar, and learnt some basics about anatomy, but actually it doesn't brought much to what I discovered, it was more like confirming it.

    - Most untrained people find 4321 easier than 1234, just ask your friends and family. Due to our general everyday behavior, our finger muscle extensors are more trained near the thumb. For example it's harder to refrain our ring finger from following the flexion of our middle finger than the other way around.

    Unless being specifically trained against that, 1234 will be harder to articulate because one will have a hard time keeping the ring and pinkie up as soon as the middle is going down. But mind, that's a newbie issue having nothing to do with more advanced, gesture-freq issues.

    - enhancing your overall gesture frequency has huge benefits in term of pattern diversity. You're only as fast as your slowest muscle. Let's have a little fun, give me the hardest 16 notes finger pattern you can imagine ^^
     
  12. octatoan

    octatoan Acoustic tech-death!

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    Um . . . you haven't learned them all, I hope.
    Repeating 34 is hard.

    What's the hardest one for you?
     
  13. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    I have no "hardest" one, I trained all my muscles to get the same gesture frequency.

    Heres 3-4 http://vimple.ru/2d4f13b6fd324805ad5ccc4c09ecfdfb

    Now to answer your previous question, there are many benefits :

    - Quick access to any kind of pattern at the same speed.
    - A whole new bunch of licks
    - diminished stretches and tensions
    - improved vertical/horizontal mobility
    - better playing sensations, using more gesture frequency is physically fullfiling.
     
  14. octatoan

    octatoan Acoustic tech-death!

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    Site's blocked in India, proxies not working ever since all that ISIS business started . . . :/

    Can you do a (private, if you like) YouTube video? Or, just tell me your speed; I'll take your word for it.
     
  15. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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